What you should know about patio umbrellas:

 

What accounts for the difference in price for patio umbrellas?  Why do some cost eighty or a hundred dollars, and others cost over two hundred?  Is there really a difference?

 

Yes, there is.  As with almost any item you can buy, you really do get what you pay for.  In the case of umbrellas, there are several factors.  First, consider the thickness of the pole.  Inexpensive umbrellas have poles made of very thin metal that can literally shear off in a relatively modest wind.  Second, the interior mechanism of cheaper umbrellas is prone to jamming and breakage, and the canopy spokes may be made of very light plastic that breaks easily.  Third, while the fabric on a cheaper umbrella may look the same as that on a better one, chances are that it is a cotton blend (as opposed to solution-dyed acrylic) that will quickly fade and become tattered.

 

So while you should always make sure that “the price is right,” it’s equally important to make sure that “the quality is right.”

-Joe Forshaw